Here’s your typical poster with a “username”… what are they trying to hide?
Anonymity is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the United States was founded, in part, thanks to Thomas Paine‘s anonymously-written, pro-revolution pamphlet Common Sense. On the other hand, 12-year-olds who post anonymously on the internet can be rather unpleasant and cause real problems by cyberbullying. Whether you think the good outweighs the bad, this news is troubling indeed… a far-reaching bill introduced in the New York State Senate could end the practise of posting online once and for all.
Introduced by New York State Senator Thomas F O’Mara (R-Big Flats), S6779 would require that any anonymous post online is subject to removal if the poster refuses to post… and verify… their legal name, their IP address, and their home address. The (likely well-intentioned) bill states:
A website administrator upon request shall remove any comments posted on his or her web site by an anonymous poster unless such anonymous poster agrees to attach his or her name to the post and confirms that his or her IP address, legal name, and home address are accurate. All website administrators shall have a contact number or e-mail address posted for such removal requests, clearly visible in any sections where comments are posted.
Critics are quick to point out how dangerous and ineffective the anti-privacy bill would be on the off-chance that it somehow passes. After all, IP addresses do nothing to verify a person’s identity, and including your home address on a controversial internet post could open you up to real-life threats. In effect, the bill is an online stalker’s dream. Of course, the most likely result of the bill’s passage would just be the full-scale elimination of all comment systems everywhere, because the system’s an unworkable burden on both the poster and the “web site administrators” who would need to respond to ludicrous take down requests at all times of the day.
24 May 2012
This has about as much chance of passing the New York Senate (let alone getting past Shelly Silver’s Assembly) as a bill mandating the compulsory purchase of buggy whips or periwigs, and it’s just as useful. Frankly, the real point of this bill is that pols don’t like criticism… and they’ll do anything that they can to shut it down. That being said, anonymous posting is a curse… and Fr Vsevolod has attacked it more than once (rightly so).
I’ll give my Orthodox readers this observation… Monomakhos and OCATruth are full of juvenile poseurs and slinking power-brokers utilising “usernames”. I sign my legal name… and I need no legal compulsion to do so. That’s why my news is trustworthy. I stand behind it. What does that tell you about the lot at Monomakhos? Why do you even waste your time by logging on to it (I don’t… and I miss nothing of substance)? If they won’t sign their name, don’t give ‘em any cred… there, that’s it in a nutshell. Pass the jug and smile… the world hasn’t stopped being crank in the last 24…